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Wrongful Convictions in Death Penalty Cases.

17205. Wrongful Convictions in Death Penalty Cases.

Focusing on wrongful convictions of innocent persons in death penalty cases, this paper provides a critical overview and analysis of the location and characteristics of micro and macro-level factors with the criminal justice system that seem to be the source of the errors leading to or contributing to the problem of wrongful convictions. Factors considered include problems with eyewitness identification, unreliable or duplicitous informants, prosecutorial misconduct, defense attorney incompetence, false and coerced confessions, forensic errors and fraud, judicial misconduct, systematic racism, problems with the adversarial system and the difficulties of balancing defendantsí right to due process with societyís need for crime control and the criminal justice systemís need for expediency. The concluding analysis looks at some of the steps that might be taken to remedy or reduce the error rate while still providing justice. TAGS: death penalty wrongful conviction prosecutorial misconduct eyewitness identification false confessions forensics judicial error racism crime control. 27 pages; 73 footnotes; 36 bibliographic sources. 7,134 words.


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